Houghton pleased with Derbyshire progress

Dave Houghton says Derbyshire’s progression throughout the 2019 season is a cause for optimism when looking ahead to 2020.

Experienced players such as Billy Godleman, Wayne Madsen, Luis Reece and Ravi Rampaul all enjoyed good seasons across all formats, while it was a breakthrough year for the likes of Leus du Plooy and Fynn Hudson-Prentice.

After competitive seasons in the Royal London One-Day Cup and the Specsavers County Championship, the Falcons reached their first-ever Vitality Blast Finals Day, picking up eight wins in the process.

Houghton believes that getting the mentality of the team was key to a successful campaign, and says the team are in a positive position already, with preparations for the 2020 season well underway.

“I think we have made progress,” Houghton said.

“Firstly, we had to get our team environment right and the players getting used to having a coaching staff around again and we have a lovely spirit in the changing room.

“We started the season with a core and we added little bits and pieces to give us better strength as a squad and from that point of view we are very happy where we are.

“I think the pick-up of Leus du Plooy and Fynn Hudson-Prentice have been two magnificent signings for us, they really have enhanced our team and given us a very good chance next year.

“If we add the right ingredient in an overseas player I think we will go into next season as strong as any side. Certainly our top five will be as strong as anybody’s and we will have a good bowling attack.”

Derbyshire’s overseas player for the 2019 season was Logan van Beek, who claimed a total of 35 wickets across all forms.

Houghton praised van Beek for his attitude throughout his spell, and revealed that the bowler had been playing through an injury for most of the season.

“Logan was a fantastic overseas professional for us,” he added.

“He was sadly playing on one-and-a-half legs the whole season which he hid particularly well from everybody but we knew he was struggling.

“He had a knee injury he carried through the season and I think had he been fit, he would have been able to supply those finishing touches we needed.”

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